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Angels Classic Rewind | Dateline: September 27th, 2002


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By Joe Haakenson, AngelsWin.com Contributor - 

SEPT. 27, 2002

ANAHEIM – Still riding the high of clinching a playoff spot on Thursday, the Angels faced the Seattle Mariners Friday night with a lineup that manager Mike Scioscia might have lifted from his spring training files.

Regular starters David Eckstein, Darin Erstad, Tim Salmon, Scott Spiezio and Bengie Molina got a view from the bench as the Mariners beat the Angels on Edgar Martinez's 12th-inning homer, 7-6, before a sellout crowd of 43,452 at Edison Field.

``We're going to give most guys a chance to rest,'' Scioscia said. ``We want to try to keep an edge. It's been a grueling September. This has been about the toughest September schedule I've been associated with. You look at how well Oakland and Seattle are playing. We had our hands full. Guys maintained their focus through it.''

Garret Anderson started at designated hitter, third baseman Troy Glaus played five innings and Brad Fullmer played first base. The rest of the lineup spent much of the season either on the bench with the Angels or at Triple-A Salt Lake. 

Pitcher Jarrod Washburn, originally scheduled to start Friday, was scratched in favor of Scot Shields so he could rest for his start next Tuesday against the Yankees in Game 1 of the Division Series.

``We played great teams and it was definitely hard-fought games,'' Erstad said. ``We accomplished our goal. Now, it's time to recharge our batteries as much as we can.''

Shields has been outstanding pitching out of the bullpen, and went into Friday's game having thrown 15 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. But the Mariners, using their regular lineup, got to him in the first inning.

Ichiro Suzuki and Willie Bloomquist singled to being the inning and Martinez singled home both for a 2-0 lead.

The Angels used three singles off Mariners starter Freddy Garcia in the second for a run, scoring on Julio Ramirez's RBI single.

Shields was through after three innings, and he Mariners increased their lead to 3-1 on Jeff Cirillo's RBI single off Al Levine in the fourth. The Angels scored single runs in the fourth and fifth innings, but the Mariners also scored one in the fifth and two in the seventh to take a 6-3 lead.

The Angels rallied in the bottom of the eighth for three runs, the first one coming home on Fullmer's 18th home run of the season.

Mariners manager Lou Piniella watched the game from the press box as he served his one-game suspension for a tirade on the field last week.

Scioscia will reveal his playoff roster sometime this weekend, but it's becoming more difficult for him to conceal the club's plans to keep 20-year-old pitcher Francisco Rodriguez on the roster.

Rodriguez entered the game with two out in the seventh and struck out Mike Cameron to end the inning. In the eighth, he struck out Carlos Guillen, Ben Davis and Jeff Cirillo in order.

In the ninth, Rodriguez gave up singles to Ichiro and Willie Bloomquist, but struck out Martinez and got help from catcher Sal Fasano, who threw out both Ichiro and Bloomqust trying to steal.

In five games with the Angels, Rodriguez has 13 strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings.


ANAHEIM -- New York Yankees manager Joe Torre took starting pitcher Andy Pettitte out of Friday night's gave against the Baltimore Orioles after 75 pitches, giving him the option to start Pettitte in Game 1 of the Division Series against the Angels next week in New York.

Torre also is considering starting Roger Clemens in Game 1 against Angels starter Jarrod Washburn.

For Game 2 on Wednesday, the Yankees will start either Pettitte or Clemens (whichever one doesn't start Game 1) against Kevin Appier. Game 3, which will be next Friday in Anaheim, will pit Yankees lefty David Wells against Ramon Ortiz.

The Yankees will start Mike Mussina if a Game 4 is necessary, against either Washburn on three-days' rest, or rookie John Lackey, presumably if the Angels hold a series lead and holding Washburn for a potential Game 5.

Washburn was originally scheduled to start Friday night against Seattle, but was replaced by Scot Shields after the Angels clinched a playoff spot Thursday. Washburn said he was ``honored'' to be named the starter for Game 1 of the series, just like when he was named to start opening day back on March 31.

However, Washburn doesn't want to be too keyed up, like he was that day against the Indians. He gave up five runs and eight hits in five innings and was tagged with the opening day loss.

``I'm pumped up already to be able to do that,'' Washburn said. ``I have to control my emotions and stay under control. If you get excited, you make mistakes, balls find holes. Sometimes I use (adrenaline) to my advantage, and sometimes I need to keep it under control. Being able to pitch Opening Day in that situation helped me be able to deal with this.''


Jackie Autry, wife of former Angels owner Gene Autry, paid a visit to the Angels clubhouse before Friday's game.

``We've come close a lot of times and been the bridesmaid a lot,'' she said. ``It's been long overdue. We've had some good ballclubs and I don't know why we continued to fade in September. This club has stood the test of time. Why, I don't know. I think it's because there are no superstars. Sometimes there are factions that grow in clubhouses -- ethnic factions, young vs. old factions. These guys all hang together.

``(Gene) would love it. He would love this team, except for the facial hair. I'm sorry Chuck's (Finley) not here. He's in St. Louis and I hope he'll be here (in the World Series).''
Much will be made about the Yankees playoff experience and the Angels' lack thereof. The Yankees have won four of the past six World Series and reached the playoffs in each of the past six years.

Only one Angel on the playoff roster has any playoff experience: Kevin Appier, who pitched in two games (10 1/3 innings) for Oakland against the Yankees in the 2000 Division Series.

``I don't think there's anything that says a team without playoff experience can't have success,'' Scioscia said. ``We played eight games against Oakland that in my mind were playoff games. You look at intensity and execution, to me, those were playoff games. 

The playoffs isn't a feeling of pressure, it's a feeling of excitement, challenge. The momentum of a playoff game can turn on a dime.''


Scioscia said he had 22 voice-mail messages waiting for him on his cell phone after his club clinched the wild-card spot Thursday. Among them was former Angel Don Baylor.

Baylor had hoped the Angels would consider hiring him as their manager after the 1999 season when Terry Collins resigned. But because the Angels first had to hire a general manager that offseason and took time getting around to hiring a manager, Baylor accepted the job with the Chicago Cubs. The Angels, of course, hired Scioscia.


Garret Anderson was named the winner of the Angels' Gene Autry Trophy, awarded to the team's MVP and voted upon by the players. It's the third time Anderson has won the award, also winning it in 1999 and 2001. ... Pitcher Aaron Sele, out since Aug. 20 with a partially torn muscle in his right shoulder, will start Sunday's regular-season finale. Sele, who signed a three-year, $24 million contract before the season, will not be on the playoff roster for the Division Series.


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